controversy over reverend’s refusal to wear red poppy

by Outreach ~ November 1st, 2013. Filed under: News.
Anzac_poppies 25 april 2009 white poppy for peaceAs we approach Remembrance Day in the lead up to the WWI centenary it appears controversy is not far away. As reported in the Daily Telegraph Reverend Patricia Jackson has declared she will not be wearing a red poppy, but a white poppy whilst conducting a Remembrance Day service in Shropshire this November.

The Reverend’s planned appearance at Hadley Methodist Church in Telford is now being questioned as inappropriate by many, such as local councillors and the President of the Hadley and Leegomery Royal British Legion, who are offended by her stance.

The Remembrance Poppy goes back to the 1920s serving as a torch of remembrance in memory of all who have been killed in war, however there are some that argue that it may also glorify war. With such a distinct status and tradition in the United Kingdom it constitutes an unwritten rule that prominent figures adhere to wearing the poppy sold by The Royal British Legion.

But with the minister’s refusal to follow this standard custom when she is to deliver such a pertinent service can she really justify her proposed action as her “democratic right” to do so? Interestingly enough she is not alone, last year footballer James McClean faced a backlash of criticism even stemming from his own football team “for turning a charity appeal into a political statement”.

In explaining why he does not agree with wearing the poppy, Huffington Post contributor Assed Baig discussed his opinion that it “is used as a tool to promote current wars”.

Do you agree with the Reverend defending her moral stance, especially at such a service? Do you believe the red poppy represents supporting war? Do you yourself wear a white poppy? Are prominent figures in society right to experience criticism if they dare refuse to wear the Remembrance Poppy?

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